Monday, July 29, 2013

Get You Marketing Strategies from Imagine Solutions

It is time to develop a marketing campaign to promote your products.  There are quite a few ways to get your message across to your customers.  However, some methods may be better suited for the needs of your company.  Here are a few helpful marketing strategies to get you started in developing your campaign.

E-mail, Website, or Social Media
Since most of the world is connected using the Internet, e-mail, websites, and social media are fantastic ways to reach your customers.  You will want to avoid creating spam, so a better alternative might be to develop a website.  You can promote the website and urge customers and potential customers to enter their e-mail addresses and send them special offers that way.  You can also publicize your social media medium on the website and other places on the Internet, which will attract a greater audience.

Traditional Advertising and Events
You should attend events to create social networking among potential business partners and clients, allowing them to see that you are genuine and can back up what you say.  By attending events, you can also show that you honor commitments.  Events are related to traditional advertising because they both have been done for quite some time.  Traditional advertising will be especially effective with the older population because they may not be as familiar with the Internet as the younger population.  Traditional advertising should include TV advertisements, radio advertisements, and advertisements on public walls, windows, or billboards.

In-person Interactions and Direct Mail
If someone comes into your office seeking a product, you want to win their business.  You can do this by having effective in-person interactions.  You should show the customer that you care about their needs.  Direct mail can also help to show potential customers that you value the business relationship.  You can follow up in-person interactions with mail being sent directly to the customer’s home.  This follows-up on your offer and helps to let you know if the customer is still interested.

Quality Over Quantity
You can have 100 advertisements out there in the world through the Internet and traditional advertising, but it will do no good if the quality is bad.  It is more important to have good quality over quantity.  A good design team can help you develop the most effective and appealing advertisements.  It is important to remember that quality is also related to matching the advertisement content to the target audience.

These are only a few effective marketing strategies but all of them should attract new customers for your company.  You need to remember that marketing strategies need to be changed regularly to provide fresh information for customers.  What worked a year ago for attracting customers may not work today.  Contact us at Imagine Solutions to find out how best to market your products and services.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Paperless Accounting Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages

Paperless accounting systems, also known as cloud accounting software, is, quite simply, accounting software hosted on remote servers and is becoming increasingly popular with businesses today.  However, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages of using this software.  It is ultimately your decision as to whether cloud accounting software is a viable option for you and your business.

Reduced cost.     Cloud accounting software can save your business quite a bit of money.  Since it is hosted on remote servers, you have no need to purchase hardware.  There is no need for updates, since the servers automatically keep the software up-to-date.  Since cloud accounting software is maintained by the service provider, you have no need to worry about maintenance or overhead costs.

Ease of access.     You can access your cloud accounting software anywhere.  Since it is hosted on remote servers, there is no downloading or installing involved.  This allows you to quickly access the software, complete your task, then disconnect.  All you need is computer and internet access.

Potential downtime.     When using cloud accounting software, you are dependent on your internet connection.  In short, if it is down, you will not be able to access the software.  Additionally, occasionally the server that your software is hosted on will be down due to outages.  If this occurs, you will not be able to access the software.

Security issues.     Since cloud accounting software is hosted on remote servers, there is a risk of your data being stolen.  When choosing cloud accounting software, you will want to be sure you are working with reputable and reliable service providers.  A good rule of thumb:  If you are not comfortable putting it on the internet, do not put it on cloud accounting software. 

Your business could benefit from implementing cloud accounting software.  Contact us at Imagine Solutions Group for more information.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to treat car deductions.

Own a small or one-person business and want the best car deduction? Here's your options:

1. Purchase the car in the name of your corporation or LLC and pay for all auto expenses and gasoline by the business... Of course if you don't use the car 100% for business, you'll have to have a journal entry notated in your books that gives you a distribution/draw for the amount equivalent to percentage of personal use
2. Purchase the car personally and then have the business give you an auto allowance per month (to cover gas, maintenance and car insurance that you personally obtained)
3. Purchase the car personally and then have the business reimburse your mileage

Which is best?

Depends on how well you keep records and how much you use the car for personal stuff. For *most* people, #1 will give you a slightly higher deduction than #3--but it's more work. Between #2 and #1, #2 gives you the potential to receive the best deduction as you're getting money tax free (as an individual) to pay your insurance, maintenance, etc. The hard part about #2 is that you would have to keep good car records and report the actual mileage to the company on a consistent basis. ‪#‎HelpMeImagine‬

Friday, July 12, 2013

You Have Business Plans, Now What?

Everyone starting a business was told at one point to create a business plan.  You read about, applied your knowledge and created the rough draft.  It was tweaked and fine-tuned to perfection, and now you're ready to implement your strategy.  As you get underway, sometimes plans written on paper doesn't work the way you envisioned.  The plan may look good on paper, but isn't good on execution.  Delays or distractions can steer you away from following the plan step by step.  You may discover another strategy that works better than what's written down.  Life happens, and companies must learn how to make lemonade out of lemons.

Many business men and women have a plan, but never look at it.  How will you know if the business plan is going according to plan if you don't look at it?  Review the plan based on how well the business is going.  It should be reviewed no later than yearly, but there are exceptions.  Companies with business expansions, targeting new markets, introducing new products and cash flow problems need to look at the plan monthly or quarterly.

Business plans come with a marketing plan.  The marketing plan gives you detailed marketing strategies to make your business plan a reality.  Both are necessary, and both must be reviewed together to compare what written to the current state of the business.  If one plan needs work, the other plan needs adjustments too to stay on track.  You can't have one without the other.

If your business plan involves tracking revenue, have a system in place to track it often.  Control and monitor the process weekly or monthly.  See how it’s faring with your plan.  Track the target market, your competitors and revenue projections.  Keep a file of this information for comparison.  If anything is under performing to where it completely misses the mark it's time to make adjustments.

Businesses change and grow, and as companies move forward the strategies in business plans don't work, outdated or not effective as it once was.  The good news is that business plans are not set in stone.  They can be adjusted to the current situation.  Revise the plan in the same one-year, three-year and five-year guidelines you were taught to do.  Use what works in the past to anticipate future performance.

Business plans are a guide for businesses to steer their dream into a reality.  Pitfalls are bound to happen, even to the best of us, and we have to change with the times.  Doing this not only creates flexibility but it is imperative for company growth and success.  Contactus for more information on business plans, strategies and assistance with your company.

Monday, July 8, 2013

How to Gain Profits While Looking for Bookkeeping Help

How to Gain Profits While Looking for Bookkeeping Help

Do you find yourself looking for bookkeeping help for your business?  What defines a company is how much it profits from its business transactions. The more you earn, the bigger your place in the business world. This is why proper management of your bookkeeping is extremely important.

When a company’s accounting is mismanaged, the business is left in an extremely vulnerable state.  So every step that a company takes is critical. Consequently, if incorrect information is stated in its books, it follows that incorrect decisions will be also made while running the business. Bookkeeping is indeed crucial and that is why no company should risk not having a bookkeeper to handle this job.

You need bookkeeping help for tasks such as maintaining your balance sheets, recording all monetary transactions regularly, preparing profit and loss statements, payroll, filing of taxes, inventory of equipment, along with other important tasks.

These responsibilities are very time consuming especially to those not accustomed to doing them. Putting these responsibilities at the mercy of people who are not experienced in these processes, is like taking a gamble where your whole business is at stake. So, it is better to assign these duties to someone who really knows what to do. You need to hire some bookkeeping help.

Profit is the number one advantage of hiring a bookkeeper as they will be able to handle your bookkeeping properly and provide you with useful information so that you can make sound decisions for your company. An excellent bookkeeper is someone who knows the ins and outs of the profession and is dedicated, organized, and motivated to helping your company succeed.

This leaves you time to concentrate on the other aspects of your business that require your attention.  Also, if your bookkeeper does their job correctly, you can avoid penalty charges due to late filing of federal forms or costly revisions due to errors. In addition, having accurate documentation of your accounting also helps to attract potential investors.

Therefore, it is important that you only hire bookkeepers that can live up to your expectations. To do this, look for a legitimate and experienced bookkeeper.

Imagine Solutions was established to provide companies with the expertise, support, and resources needed to improve their business by reducing costs and increasing profits. We are committed to providing high quality services at an a fordable price to ensure our clients achieve, sustain, and fi ne-tune their operational excellence. We empower our clients to reach goals beyond their own expectations. 
Imagine Solutions bookkeeping services are designed to lessen the burden of daily, weekly and monthly accounting & bookkeeping tasks that take your attention away from focusing on your business. Our experienced staff is available when you need them to make sure your books are accurate and up to date.

We will work with you to fill any gaps that you have in operating your business effectively. Whether it is 1 hour a week or 160 hours a month, we can provide the services that you are looking for.

We have QuickBooks Pro Advisors and QuickBooks Certified Users on staff. We also offer other online accounting programs to fit your needs. Our experience covers numerous industries including retail, professional services, construction, consulting, education, non-profits and more.

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Bank Reconciliation 
  • General Ledger 
  • Financial Statements
  • Expense Reports
  • Credit Card Management
  • Daily Money Management
  • Sales Tax
  • Tracking and Reporting
  • Job Costing
  • AIA Billing
  • Vendor/Customer Support
  • Custom Forms
  • Inventory Tracking
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Merchant Services

Friday, July 5, 2013

Branding Your Business: Mastering the Art of Standing Out from Everyone Else

Imagine Solutions was established to provide companies with the expertise, support, and resources needed to improve their business by reducing costs and increasing profits. We are committed to providing high quality services at an a fordable price to ensure our clients achieve, sustain, and fi ne-tune their operational excellence. We empower our clients to reach goals beyond their own expectations.

Branding Your Business: Mastering the Art of Standing Out from Everyone Else

Branding Your Business: Mastering the Art of Standing Out from Everyone Else
Branding your business is one of the most essential elements to getting your business idea into the heads of prospective customers. That's because branding will involve digging into the soul of what your business truly is and creating visuals and products that people will associate solely with you. But how do you manage to stand out when it seems every idea has already been done?

Research Online with Similar Products
No matter what product you create or what your business is, many others will have created something at least within the same category. Do Google searches on those products and businesses to see what their branding is to get a feel of general trends. Is your branding too similar, or does it stand apart from everybody else?

Finding that middle ground between going with a trend and doing something completely different can be a complicated decision. Nevertheless, being different is always the better route with the prospect that you can become a trendsetter.

Think Long-Term With Your Brand
When you create a brand, you're going to have to use it for years in order to keep up successful marketing. And while major companies sometimes change their brand after many years of being successful, it can potentially backfire. J.C. Penney is a good example of changing their longstanding sales plan brand in recent years thatadversely affected their sales and employee morale.
Plan on creating a brand you know you can use for many years and one that won't have to change simply because you didn't give it some prior thought.

Make Sure Your Branding Assures Quality
A brand that assures quality and compellingly solves the needs of customers will stick in the consumer mind indefinitely. While mistakes can happen in a business along the way, an initial brand that continues to stand for what it initially promised will always retain loyal customers. That's why you should make sure you have a quality product you know people want before you start branding.

Fit Your Brand into the Social Media World
With visuals always doing well in the social world, a brand that utilizes attractive pictures or a logo for your product can work well on places like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. However, branding doesn't necessarily have to stop at visuals to singularly identify your product or business. Sometimes a catchphrase or memorable title can become memes in the online world.

Brainstorm a standout title for your brand that can easily be quotable on social media. A catchy one can end up in general conversations, especially if it's a short title that can easily fit into a sentence. Take a look at these short and famous brand names to get a sense of inspiration.

Contact us if you need expert guidance on how to brand your business for the digital world. At Imagine Solutions Group, we know the importance of staying unique in the ever-crowded online field of business.